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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


     Years ago when I was invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends I would always bring along a favorite dish to share. I confess that it was also for my own enjoyment because I was usually the only vegetarian amongst some serious turkey eaters. The first few times this happened I made the mistake of waiting for everyone to serve themselves at the buffet. By the time I got to my contribution I would find mere crumbs to enjoy. I had learned this lesson as a teenager growing up in a family of 10 children and 2 adults. When people are hungry they have one thought and that is to satisfy their food lust. Thereafter I made sure to set aside a portion for myself and let the hungry hoards devour the rest.

     I was moved to share this experience because the following recipe was everyone's favorite dish at these holiday gatherings. Every time I prepare this recipe I make sure there is enough for a group, knowing there will be no leftovers to take home with me. Unfortunately, Pepperidge Farm is the only puff pastry available in the supermarket and there is not a whole grain version available on the market. A good niche to fill if anyone is so inclined. I have also adapted this recipe using a homemade dough from spelt flour and it worked quite well. However, for a quick solution the puff pastry comes in real handy.

    Tofu and Vegetables in Puff Pastry
Serves 12

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2- 10 ounce packages of frozen spinach
    1 jar of roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and cut into thin strips
    1- 14 ounce package firm tofu, crumbled
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    sea salt, to taste
    1 -17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed
    1 cup non-dairy (or dairy) Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1. Defrost the puff pastry in the fridge overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. 

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion until just tender, add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
4. Add the spinach, and red peppers, cooking until spinach is tender. 

5. Add the nutmeg and crumbled tofu stirring well. Cook 3 minutes to combine the flavors.

6. Spray a baking pan and roll out one sheet of the puff pastry.

7. Scoop half the sautéed vegetables along one edge lengthwise, sprinkle with grated soy cheese and roll the pastry into a log. 

8. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry and roll into a log.

9. Bake 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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